So I have hate mail….
By: Susan Cassidy
Or whatever it’s called when your blog is attacked by another blog. Shoot, I don’t even have a “blog.” I have contributed twice to the Progressive Libertarian website because I believe in a progressive move toward greater liberty. The name itself confuses people because of the associations we have with both words.
My piece was more generally about collectivism vs individualism, and I used her internet thank you card as an example of collectivism juxtaposed against an article about doctors going bankrupt — one potential negative consequence of what I view as government over-involvement in the health care industry.
Understandably, this woman whom I now know as “Miss M. Turner” was unhappy with me, although I think calling me an idiot might have been a bit harsh.
I assume she didn’t read my whole piece, only the sentences plucked from it for the CNN article. However, as grounded as she is in her own ideology combined with personally being helped by the new health care law, she would probably still think me an idiot, an uncaring, harsh, wants poor people to die, idiot even after having read it entirely.
For her, since she does not know me, let me say this: Those of us against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act are not FOR patient destruction and unaffordable care; nor are we pro-health insurance companies. I too want everyone to have access to affordable health care. I want people of all socio-economic levels to have access to the necessities of life.
But, I also believe — and she will disagree here — that in our past attempts to do things for people in need, we have actually hurt MORE people and made things harder for the impoverished and the working poor. She may not understand my perspective, not because she’s an “idiot,” but because she is entrenched in her belief that the government can and should provide more than I believe it can and should provide (my entrenched belief).
Yes, I have health insurance, but I am not as removed as she may assume from the people that are affected by the outrageous cost of health care/health insurance (These, incidentally, are two different things). In fact, possibly because the universe likes balance, on the same day as I read my own words in the CNN article, one of my close, uninsured relatives had to go through the nine circles of health care hell. I believe he is a Democrat, although I don’t know that for sure, and obviously, I wasn’t going to discuss it with him while he was navigating circle 8.
I know for a fact that our system as it stands does not work for millions of people, and I have many family members bringing that number closer to home. However, I believe this is the result of giving politicians more power and control over our lives in a well-intentioned, yet misguided attempt to make it work better.
Miss M. Turner writes in her response to me that she had over $80,000 in medical bills. I wonder if she has ever asked why those bills were so high to begin with. I wonder if she has ever asked why health insurance was an impossible expense for her. Part of my initial article was to explain how government over-reach has contributed to some of these problems to begin with. I see the problem. I don’t believe MORE government meddling is the answer.
As I said in my original article, I am a teacher. I love my job. Most of us do. But in general, we seem to have a love/hate relationship with our employer, the government. Just ask a teacher how they feel about “No Child Left Behind.”
The government treats doctors the same as it treats teachers: sticking its nose in our profession on behalf of our “customers” with little to no regard as to how proposed solutions to problems will affect the actual providers of the service it wishes to improve. Politicians and political pundits also appear to forget that many of us are really good at our jobs, and care deeply about people. That’s why we chose this profession to begin with.
Obamacare just may be “No Patient Left Behind.” Grand goals, unrealistic outcomes. Putting doctors in a box, and expecting miracles. Ask a doctor how they feel about the ACA. This is why I juxtaposed miss Turner’s picture against an article about doctors going bankrupt. We need to consider them in this as well, just like we need to consider teachers when we discuss the American education system.
It sometimes seems to me that society expects free food, without considering the farmer, or expecting the populace to farm. We expect free education, without considering the teacher, or expecting parents to educate. We expect free health care, without considering the doctor, or committing to take better care of our own bodies.
We have the most advanced health care system in the world; however, the innovations made toward prolonging and improving the quality of life have a price. If miss M. lived anywhere else, would she have just died? I am not trying to sound even more callous, I am asking a legitimate question. Would she, in Canada, or the UK, have had free health care, but ultimately, died last year, after being put on a lengthy wait list for her surgery(ies)? In Switzerland, would my relative who finally underwent emergency eye surgery have gone blind?
I have had three pre-term children myself, two of which were significantly early. In France or Germany, would they have survived? Side note: it seems that many people do not realize that the US infant mortality rate is calculated differently than other countries BECAUSE of our respect for all life. Even babies that are born entirely too early to be compatible with life are included in infant mortality rates in the USA. This is not how it’s calculated in most other countries.
Unfortunately, the qualities and improvements from the good ole’ US of A are expensive. And, as I have previously stated, I wholeheartedly believe that they are even MORE expensive BECAUSE of government over-involvement. Had I been forced to choose between bankruptcy and one of my children, obviously I would have chosen my child. I contend that that choice is itself a privilege.
A final note to miss M. Turner: I am sorry for all the hell you had to go through. I apologize if my words sounded unsympathetic to your plight. I was not suggesting that you could or should have done anything different to “take care of yourself” or blame you for where you ended up, in need of assistance from the federal government.
Those of us over here in the anti-Obamacare world really don’t want you to suffer, go bankrupt, or lose a health battle. It is just that we believe in a more limited government, and we believe that Obamacare will hurt more than it will help. We believe in free market solutions to existing problems, which go in a completely opposite direction. I am not trying to change YOUR mind, just explain my position.
I worry about the future, as do you. But I worry in a different way. I worry if there will be enough good doctors left to take care of us in our old age. I worry that innovation will slow. And, like you, I worry about people having access to affordable health care.
Take care and God bless,
Your fellow citizen,
The reluctant and accidental blogger
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